Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How to Remember the Past

Some friends asked me why I always write about (and talk about) only my happy moments in the Navy.

Here is my answer:

HOW TO REMINISCE

Navy Philosophy

FORGET THE GRIEF  REMEMBER THE FUN
Ramblings of a Retired Navy Veteran
By
VIKRAM KARVE

NAVY STYLE PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH TO LIFE

Long back  many years ago  I watched an old Black and White Movie called:  ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC

The film  ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC  produced in 1943  stars the inimitable Humphrey Bogart  and is a story of the war at sea during the World War II. 

The thrilling movie depicts the bravery and adventure of Naval Officers and Sailors on a Merchant Navy Ship during World War 2.

The merchant ships, sailing in a convoy, are bound from Halifax in Canada to Murmansk in Russia carrying vital war material.

The convoy of merchant ships is pursued by German Submarines (a Wolf-pack).

There is one dialogue in this movie that attracted my attention  and this quote remained etched in my memory even after the movie was over. 

The quote was: “The difference between you and me, Skipper, is that You Remember the Grief but I Remember the Fun

After I saw the movie, for a long time that evening, during my evening walk, I let the quote perambulate in my mind.

The more I thought about it  the more it made sense  and the more meaningful and insightful these simple words seemed to me.

In the movie  there is a scene on a dark and gloomy night  as the warship sails on treacherous seas with the dangerous enemy lurking below.

Humphrey Bogart  who is the Chief Officer of the Merchant Ship  and his Captain  are standing in the Bridge-Wings  reminiscing and discussing their time on an earlier ship which was sunk by enemy torpedoes.

The Captain keeps talking about the tough hazardous times they had when their convoys were attacked  and he keeps recalling various tragedies and misfortunes.

On the other hand  the Chief Officer talks about all the fun, frolic, flirting and enjoyment he has had during his tenure on the same ship – and he describes his delightful amorous peccadilloes and escapades in various ports.

The Captain berates the Chief Officer.

The Captain asks the Chief Officer how he can be so frivolous and merry in a dangerous and grim wartime situation.

The Chief Officer (Humphrey Bogart) replies:

“The difference between you and me, Skipper, is that you remember the grief but I remember the fun.”

Tell me, Dear Reader:

When you recollect your past:

Are the recollections happy and pleasing...?

Or – are your recollections of the past sad and unpleasant...?


FORGET THE GRIEF – REMEMBER THE FUN

Let’s do an experiment.

Close your eyes and think of your childhood – what comes to your mind  what predominates – happy memories  or sad moments?

Reminisce about each phase of your past life – your early years, school, college, career, marriage, your middle age, until now – and examine your recollections – pleasant memories – and the not-so-pleasant memories.

Yes  you will have Two Types of Memories:

1. Pleasant (Happy) Memories

2. Not-so-pleasant (unhappy) Memories

(When I hark back to my Childhood, my school and college days, my Navy Days  I too have both types of memories  Happy Memories and Not-so-happy Memories)

Now remember the dialogue from the movie (Action in the North Atlantic) spoken by the Chief Officer (Humphrey Bogart) to his Captain:

“The difference between you and me, Skipper, is that you remember the grief but I remember the fun.

Now  you know how to handle your memories. 

Like Humphrey Bogart said – REMEMBER THE FUN.

So – just forget and blank out all the sad and unpleasant memories of your past  and remember the joyful pleasant moments. 

Hark back to happy memories and joyful reminiscences which evoke a smile on your lips.

Erase from your brain all traces of your past grief

Forget the “bad guys” – who harmed you and caused you misery.

Remember the “good guys” – who added value to your life and gave you joy.

Forget all unpleasant memories.

Remember all happy memories.

Yes  from now on let this be your leitmotif:

FORGET THE GRIEF  and just – REMEMBER THE FUN

VIKRAM KARVE
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All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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